Funerals, weddings and baptisms should be small family occasions only

19 March – Number 4

Replacing 18 March Number 7

Dear colleagues,

  • Funerals, weddings and baptisms should be small family occasions only
  • Another celebration can be held when the pandemic has passed
  • Ministry to the sick (anointing)

If you have arrangements for funerals in place or have a wedding this weekend they can still proceed with the previous guidelines.

Otherwise all funerals, weddings and baptims should be very small scale to immediate family with a maximum of about 20 people.

Livestreaming should be considered as a way of including others.

Careful regard must also be given to protecting elderly and vulnerable groups. This may mean you adjust to smaller numbers of people inside a church.

Only five people need to be present at a marriage service: the couple and the clergyperson, plus two witnesses.

Careful attention needs to be given to the needs of babies and very young children. Very small amounts of water should be used. There should be no immersion baptisms.

Private baptisms in urgent circumstances are always permitted.

If you are called upon to anoint a person near death then you should do so following the advice of health staff who are in attendance. If you touch the supply of oil more than once then the oil should be reverently disposed of and then replaced.

+Peter